Temple

132e5bb5-f136-44c8-9d53-880620a38114Last year I went to the Temple and left my messages to loved ones on the wood to be burned to ash when the Temple burned.

But I did not watch the Temple burn.

And I deeply regretted it.

img_0231This year I went to the Temple but I left no messages to be burnt into cinders.

But I did watch it burn.

Quite the moving experience, if you ask me.

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Originally, I had grand plans for this Temple burn.

I was going to release my feelings for people who used to, but no longer held positions of love in my life.

Oh, I was going to print out our IMs to fasten to the Temple walls.

I was going to burn the only gift I was ever given from him.

And you know what?

I didn’t do it.

It’s not that I didn’t want to.

Or couldn’t.

It’s that just planning my good bye was good enough.

My peace was made.

And anything else was just redundant.

You know it’s a magical healing place, when just the thought of it gives you spiritual release!

Saunadome 2016

Last year I had a wonderful experience in the Finnish Saunadome, despite needing electrolytes after my sauna.

It’s one of my few treasured memories from my 2015 burn.

That and a really WILD romp in the bed of a truck.

This year I was pleased to see that the Saunadome was back (and with a nice shade structure).

img_0036Naturally, during this burn, I trotted myself over to the Saunadome, stripped off all my clothes, and stood in line with about 12 other naked burners to wait my turn in the Saunadome.

Not surprisingly, my memory from 2015 served me well. The Finnish sauna was AH-MAZING!

We sat inside the heated, white, inflatable dome and steamed our bodies as our sauneer poured essential oil-infused water over super heated stones.

I sweated like a prize pig on a treadmill.

After about 10 minutes in the sauna, we exited to a chorus of “Arms up! 360!”

We raised our arms and turned in a circle and oohed and aahed over the “cool” playa climate.

I loved my sauna so much I got in line and did it again.

The only occurrence to mar this amazing experience is that while I was waiting outside the saunadome, naked and vulnerable, a water truck passing by stopped and the driver rolled down his window to snap a picture of all us naked burners queued up.

Personally, I felt a little angry that this outsider took our picture without permission.

So I ducked behind Tejas.

A time for everything under heaven

IMG_471718 years ago today, my heart tore in half when my son Douglas died of cancer.

The hospital room was so quiet and it smelled of tears. Tears that fell from my eyes like endless rivers of sorrow.

I thought I’d never stop crying.

I stopped believing in God. Stopped singing.

My ex husband got me a dog, Mac, to get over my grief and having that dog to pour all my love into brought me back to life.

He was a four legged replacement for the son I lost.

Sadly, 8 years ago today (on the 10 year anniversary of Douglas’ death), Mac’s life ended in a freak freeway accident on Highway 80.

So you COULD say that September 22 is my least favorite day of the year.

You could say that but you’d be wrong.

Because instead of spending the day grieving, I spend the day with my sons and my family, having fun and feeling alive, instead of mourning.

It gives me an opportunity to HONOR my loved ones but also gives me the chance to CELEBRATE everything that is wonderful and beautiful in my life.

Especially the two sons that I have.

So happy September 22nd, to all my friends. I hope it’s a happy one for you too.

You’re not supposed to pee on the playa

img_0247So there I am.

On the playa.

At night after the man burn.

And as I’m riding on this art car called “The Party Snail” I start to see these dark spots on the playa.

All over.

Weird little spots on the playa that weren’t there earlier.

Sometimes they’d appear in clusters.

And as shapes take form in our headlights, I spot a girl squatting on the playa, peeing.

Now.

You’re not SUPPOSED to pee on the playa.

You’re supposed to use one of the port-o-potties that are located around the playa.

But apparently there are either not enough of them or they are not conveniently located BECAUSE. . .

ALL THOSE SPOTS!

I know what it’s like when you’ve got to go.

YOU’VE GOT TO GO.

So I understand why these burners took a naturist view of piddling.

But still.

YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO PEE ON THE PLAYA!

Just a man playing a flaming tuba

Located at the corner of 6:30 and E was the Man Museum – a chronological history of the man and Burning Man.

I rode past this museum many times on my bike. It was a landmark on my way home when I rode between 6:30 and 10 in Black Rock City.

One such time, I was riding by and I happened upon a tuba player, playing his tuba in front of the museum.

But of course, just being a tuba player at Burning Man is not remarkable enough.

This tuba player was playing a FLAMING TUBA!

As the volume of his music increased, so did the flames coming out of the tuba.

It was wild!

I had to stop and take a picture.

And lo and behold, the days go by and I happen upon a conversation with my friend Bagelfather where he mentions that the flaming tuba player is none other than David Silverman – of The Simpsons fame.

And I couldn’t help but think to myself how crazy the Burning Man world is that I could stumble upon a Simpson’s director at Burning Man, playing a tuba, with flames shooting out of it.

And if you ask me why Burning Man is so amazing, THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS.

Things that don’t happen in real life happen on the playa ALL THE TIME.

Enjoy, my friends.

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The Magic of the Playa

img_0152Last year, magic happened for me when I stumbled across some chapstick-needy burners out in deep playa when I had a bag full of chapstick.

This year, magic happened when I got in line to get ice at Artica.

The line was an hour long.

In the hot sun.

In the blazing heat.

With no shade.

I was weary, but committed to getting my ice.  For drinks, natch.

Can’t be serving room temperature drinks to my friends on the playa!

A burner with a HUGE military style backpack approached me.

“How many bags do you need?” he asked.

“Two,” I replied.

He opened up his pack and handed me two bags of ice.

I tried to hand him my $6 to pay for the ice.

“No payment. Just a hug,” he grinned. “This is my gift to the playa.”

So I hugged him and rode back to my camp with the ice.

So noted, Playa Angel, so noted!

Burning Man: Getting There, part 2

Well, Burning Man 2016 greeted me in true form – with a celebratory white-out dust storm.

It took Tejas and I three and a half hours to get through Gate and find our little plot of the playa.

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We both had early admission, so we were arriving on the Saturday BEFORE Gate opened.  Nevertheless, due to the weather, the wait was LONG!

We set up the RV:

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And we set up a supply tent to clean all our crap out of the messy RV:

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But our BIG project was the 20′ x 24′ shade structure complete with lighting:

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In the end, what was important was that I got my bed set up and had a place to rest my sweat soaked body:

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I worked on some other structures for camp and went to bed exhausted watching plumes of fire being emitted by art cars off in the distance while Platabus played tunes next door.

Tejas drank rum and went out socializing.

Ah, Burning Man. . .

We are )'(ome!

BOOBS!

img_0152One thing about Burning Man which I think comes as no surprise to anyone is that there is a lot of nudity – both guys and gals.

I had no fear of being naked at Burning Man until THIS happened. . .

 

I was getting changed, out in the open, as most people do.  I pulled off my bra and freed the kittens when all of a sudden someone yelled “BOOBS!”

I was instantly objectified.  And horrified.  And embarrassed.  And angry.

What kind of mentality in a full grown man allows him to act this way?

I had a hard time interacting with him from that point on.  I was upset and not about to get over it fast.

And despite my protestations, no apology has been forthcoming. . .

Burning Man: Getting There, part 1

One of the best parts of Burning Man is getting to go to Reno.

Reno is where my sister lives.

fullsizerender2After getting a SUPER LATE start to Reno*, Tejas and I managed to arrive 5 minutes early for our 6:15 dinner reservations at the Atlantis Steakhouse.

My sister sure knows how to pick a restaurant!

I have two words for you:

LOBSTER BISQUE

Heavenly!

We finished our dinner (and drinks!) and retreated to my sisters house for a little pre-burn party, which sadly did not include her hot tub, but did inclde a taxi ride to Walmart to pick up a handle of vodka and some lemonade.

I’m afraid I got a little loopy but managed to grab an uber with Tejas and return to our hotel.

Big day tomorrow!

 

* SOMEONE woke up late and STILL wasn’t finished packing. . . (HINT:  It wasn’t me)

Sting

ali-bar-barTejas and I took at shift pouring drinks at Ali Bar-Bar on Friday night.

We were told to CARD EVERYONE.

And so we did.

Even people who were CLEARLY over 50, we carded.

Most people were okay with having to show ID.  A few were thrilled.

One man, who was obviously in his 60s didn’t have ID.  I told him to come back with ID.  He came back with his United Mileage Plus card.

He did not get served.

He did not need more to drink ANYWAYS.

About halfway through our shift a young woman came in.

“What have you got?” she asked.

“I’ve got vodka cranberries, vodka redbulls, mai tais, whiskey sours, margaritas. . . ” I listed off our most popular drinks.

Then I added, “But first I need to see some ID.”

And she left.

Just like that.

I can’t help but wonder if she was a plant.  Trying to bust me for underage drinking.  I was VERY PROUD of myself for remembering to ask for ID.

Can you imagine?  It’s a $1,500 fine for the person who serves the underage drinker AND I think the bar gets fined and shut down for the rest of Burning Man.

Not good.

But catching an underage drinker?

Priceless.